John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Yahoo's Got a Digital Newsstand

Chief Product Officer Blake Irving defines Yahoo as “the premier digital media company in content and context.” That’s a far shorter answer than the one he provided for the “what is Yahoo” question last year. A bit more cogent too. And it sets the stage for the company’s latest push into mobile content, Livestand, which it announced moments ago.

Designed to offer consumers content based on their interests, Livestand is a sort of personalized digital newsstand for tablets. It will feature content from Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! News, Flickr and celebrity gossip site OMG, and it will customize that content according to user preference as well as time of day. “Tablets are great for a laid-back experience, but most magazine content remains trapped online,” Irving said this morning . “But consumers don’t want a digitized magazine. They want rich media, they want connections beyond just commenting.”

Which is what Yahoo is trying to give them in Livestand. The platform will be integrated with Yahoo! Finance as well as Yahoo! Mail, and it will support content sharing and commenting. “We see this as the next generation of Yahoo and we’re putting the full force of Yahoo behind it,” Irving said.

The hope here, of course, is that this will play well with advertisers dissapointed by shallow digital experiences. “You don’t exactly curl up with your PC, the way you do with a magazine,” said Irving. “With Livestand, brands can finally match the intimacy that magazines once brought to their audiences.” That means offering them ads that adapt and respond to user interaction and the tools to create “a TV-like ad experience.”

Yahoo Livestand will debut on iOS and Android in the first half of 2011. No word yet on subscription pricing.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik